The Water Cycle

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  • The water cycle starts here, usually at a pond or lake.
  • The sun's heat causes the liquid water to turn into water vapor, and rise up into the sky. This process is called evaporation.
  • Once the molecule is up in the air, condensation occurs.
  • This is where other water molecules begin to form clouds.
  • Next, precipitation occurs. This is where it starts to rain.
  • This is where the clouds get to heavy, and release the water molecules to the ground through the force of gravity.
  • There are many ways water gets back to the ocean. One way, shown here, is by stream runoff, a stream of water that leads to the ocean.
  • There are many types of precipitation. That is, rain, snow, sleet, and hail. These are very different types of precipitation that affect the environment differently.
  • Another way it is used is by transpiration. Water in the soil is soaked up by the roots of plants and trees, like this one!
  • Water gets to the soil through infiltration. Water infiltrates permeable soil to get to roots or other places.
  • No matter how water gets back to the ocean (or lakes/ponds), the water cycle repeats, and the water molecules go through the same process again.
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